US jobless claims tick up again

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(NewsNation) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week after a surprisingly strong July jobs report and slowing inflation.

The latest report released by the Labor Department Thursday showed jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 262,000. The four-week average of claims, which levels out week-to-week volatility, increased by 4,500 to 252,000.

This comes as inflation slowed to a still-high 8.5% compared with a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. This is a slowdown from June’s figure of 9.1%. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the first time that has happened in more than two years.

Americans have been dealing with sky-high inflation for more than a year following a rapid economic recovery from business shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. The consumer price index has been surging since early 2021, with staple groceries including bread, milk and eggs getting ever more expensive.

America’s employers added 528,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate edged lower to 3.5%, lower than the past four jobs reports and the lowest level since the pandemic erupted two years ago.

Though the labor market is still considered strong, there have been some high-profile layoffs announced recently by Tesla, Netflix, Carvana, Redfin and Coinbase. A host of other companies, particularly in the tech sector, have announced hiring freezes.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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